Nationals Team Spotlight | The Stellar Tech Girls representing Madison
Make48 returned to Madison, Wisconsin in August 2022 and held the competition at FabLab Stoughton, a public high school. Stoughton High School was the second school in the nation to implement a FabLab into their school system. Teams and techs found everything they needed and more.
TREK Bicycle called the Madison challenge. Teams were called on to find a solution that benefits the community and environment by recycling bicycle parts that could include: old bike tires, alloy frames, helmets, shoes, and even bicycle packaging. Congratulations to The Stellar Tech Girls who took first place! Marina, Keerthi, Ella and Nina came together to create the CycloGuard.
Marina Bloomer, Keerthi Peddinti, Ella Burmania and Nina Chan took the challenge and looked to improve the accessibility of biking with their product CycloGuard. Their team comprised both recycling and the safety issues of bike riding with fast approaching cars on blustery days. Using a haptic warning system, (vibration and light warning system) the product works for those who have hearing problems and keeps the riders eyes on the road. It’s also powered by state-of-the-art radar technology.
Hans Eckholm, Nicole Hageman and Chad Manuell were Trek judges and chose the Stellar Tech Girls as the ultimate winners. Their team won $2,000, a trophy built onsite by the tool techs and will travel to Kansas City this month to represent Madison and inspire more girls to get into STEM programming!
Stellar Tech Girls’ mission is to inspire and empower girls and non-binary kids to see their potential in engineering. Marina is the Founder and Program Director of Stellar Tech Girls, who is an aerospace engineer and is a passionate advocate for diversity in engineering. The three high school girls on the team are: Ella Burmania, a senior at Waunakee High School interested in a career in medical research and neuroscience; Nina Chan, a sophomore at Middleton High School with goals to study electrical, electronics and/or computer engineering; and Keerthi Peddinti, a senior at Middleton High School interested in a career in Computer Science. Below you can get to know more fun facts about their team and what they’re looking forward to at Nationals.
Why did you join the Stellar Tech Girls?
Keerthi Peddinti: I wanted to get involved with Stellar Tech Girls, because I wanted to promote the importance of STEM in a feminism environment. I just want girls to know that science is beyond infinity and full of many possibilities, so taking time to explore science is very important and something that they should be proud of.
Ella Burmani: I loved Stellar Tech Girls the minute I heard about it. I think it is so important to get young girls into STEM and teach and empower them.
Nina Chan: I have oftentimes been surrounded by boys in the areas I’m interested in, and I believe Stellar Tech Girls is paving the way to change that, for me and all the girls that come
A burning question… Your favorite snack at the M48 Event?
Ella Burmani: Favorite snack was definitely the jalapeño chips and we had a really good barbecue for dinner one night.
What’s a hidden or secret talent we don’t know about you?
Nina Chan: I’d say my secret talent is theater!
What’s The Biggest Strength On Your Team?
Ella Burmani: We all work together very well. We all have a lot of drive and are just a very intelligent and creative group! And we are a group of all girls so I guess you could say we have a lot of women power!
Marina Bloomer: Our team is very creative and not afraid to think outside the box. Having 3 high school girls on the team is a huge strength because we are not stuck in our ways and are ready to come up with the most innovative solutions that help make the world a better place.
What do you think you’d do differently, if anything, at Nationals?
Ella Burmani: This time I’ll just be more prepared with how the competition works and the timing of everything.
Nina Chan: I think at nationals I will be a better team player.
Marina Bloomer: Now that we have gone through it once before, we will be able to go in with more confidence from the get go. Last time, we were all a little bit surprised by how intense it was and how impressive the other teams were. This time, we know that we have done it before and come out champions, so we will be ready to give it our best!
At Nationals, what’s one thing you want to do, or see, at the Kansas City Competition?
Ella Burmani: The tool techs are always good company. They are all super nice and helpful! I’ve never been to Kansas City so I am excited to see it.
Marina Bloomer: We are excited to see the tool techs again and the whole Make48 team! It was such a supportive environment with so many interesting and uplifting people, we can't wait to see who is there again. Thanks! We all can't wait for Nationals!
Good luck to the Stellar Tech Girls! To learn more about their organization visit https://www.stellartechgirls.com/ and follow them on Instagram and on Facebook.
Make48 will be returning to Wisconsin for more 48-hour events. To learn more about opportunities, please email Wisconsin Ambassador Katie Cappozzo at firstname.lastname@example.org